Are You a Steve or a Tim?
by Jiffy Page
The whole family is gathered,
this time for a funeral.
Close friends have also come to honor
and celebrate the deceased
and to love on the living.
It’s a bittersweet time.
I was there, as extended family.
After the service, we gathered for the evening. The brothers-in-law, Steve and Tim, each their family’s photographer, began shooting pictures of various groups of us reminiscing, laughing, toasting and catching up.
Steve loves taking pictures. He’s taken photography classes recently and is careful about the lighting and composition. Steve is also careful about how people look, even in a situation like this one – an informal gathering when he’s just using his iPhone. We all know the drill when we hear him say,
“Ok, everyone get together. You move to the back, ok? Squeeze in…a little more…Good!...Wait, let’s turn on the lamp behind you…That’s better…Ok...Say Cheese!...Wait, let’s do a few more…everyone look this way...”
The downside: we get annoyed.
The upside: we are all in the picture and we all look good, staring directly at the camera.
(A Steve-type photo of my grandparents, my brother and me)
Tim likes taking pictures. But, what Tim loves is capturing the moment. He is stealthy, being as unobtrusive as possible, shooting us while we eat, talk, sit quietly and pet the dog, sip our beer.
The downside: typically the photos aren’t great – someone’s eyes are closed, has a funny expression, a face half in shadow, maybe a bit blurry, etc.
The upside: occasionally the picture captures much more than how we look – the feeling, the relationship – they tell a story and its magic.
(A Tim-like photo of my grandmother's birthday opens this blog post...)
Family gathering time is here. Our family photographers will be hard at work, chronicling the events.
In fact, you may well be the family photographer.
So, are you a Steve or a Tim?
Whichever you are, here’s to you and capturing the memories and the magic.
P.S. I love this article and Kristen Duke’s tips for photographing family gatherings: